Produced by Erik Wofford (Explosions In The Sky), “A Loupe” continues in the tradition UNCUT called “a mark of excellence in modern Americana.”
Margaret Chavez (Marcus William Striplin) as photographed by Marcus William Striplin.
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“Whirring, lush sonics.” – Speak Into My Good Eye
Listen to “Call For Cull” from “A Loupe” by Margaret Chavez via Speak Into My Good Eye or at the links below.
Margaret Chavez – Live
12/14/2017: Austin, TX @ Cactus Cafe
1/26/2018: Fort Worth, TX @ Twilite Lounge
1/27/2018: Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
1/28/2018: Deep Ellum, TX @ Twilite Lounge
About Margaret Chavez:
“A Loupe” is a 32-minute, continuously mixed ten-track song cycle arriving under the name Margaret Chavez, a pseudonym that acts a memorial tribute to the mother of the album’s creator, Austin-based songwriter, Marcus William Striplin.
Striplin’s name is familiar to anyone who has followed the indie rock scene that emerged out of Texas in the early 2000’s, specifically Dallas, where Striplin co-founded the band named after the suburb Pleasant Grove in 1999.
In its relatively brief half-decade-or-so initial run, Pleasant Grove earned praise for the “simmering psychedelia” (KUTX, 98.9) of its “songs of broken hearts and broken voices” (Dallas Observer) that, according to MOJO, mixed the “down and out ache of Texas country as well as the sonic outbursts of Neil Young.” In a four-star review, UNCUT dubbed Pleasant Grove a “mark of excellence in modern Americana.”
Whether or not Pleasant Grove broke-up or went on hiatus is irrelevant now, because in 2016, working with Grammy-winning producer Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, White Stripes, Cat Power), the band completed and released the album that it had abandoned ten years earlier.
Right on cue, the newly completed “old” album The Heart Contortionists reminded listeners of what they loved about Pleasant Grove – a folk band’s command of melody with a psych band’s command of reverb – and quickly drew the same kind of love that the band had walked away from a decade prior.
Consequence of Sound called Pleasant Grove’s return “triumphant,” the glossy Dallas-based monthly D Magazine proclaimed The Heart Contortionists “beautiful,” describing songs with “an intensity that sneaks up on you and a heat that never goes away,” and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram summed things up with a nod to Striplin specifically, saying Pleasant Grove’s “melancholy folk-rock, blessed with shadows, brass and Striplin’s plaintive voice — are breathtaking.”
Two years later, Striplin has made a record that surpasses his best work.
“A Loupe” is everything a fan of Striplin’s songwriting and arrangement ideas (here realized by visionary producer, Erik Wofford [Explosions In The Sky, The Black Angels]) would expect and more. With the very personal context of a solo album to work in, the work is indeed, very personal, and “A Loupe” is better for this controlled creative environment.
“‘Call For Cull’ is a dystopian dance song that I wrote days after the election,” Striplin says of the album’s first single, premiered yesterday via music discovery site Speak Into My Good Eye. “I took a long walk and it kinda washed over me, this idea that modern civility could just roll over and die and that a new way of life could begin if we didn’t swivel our heads on straight and practice empathy and kindness.”
“A Loupe” by Margaret Chavez (Marcus William Striplin) arrives on Jan. 19th, 2018 via Goliad Media Group. Striplin is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.
(Goliad Media Group)
Jan. 19th, 2018
01. Boy Mumble
02. American Fashion
03. Gone Gone Gone
05. A Loupe
06. Grackles and Crows
07. Strange Bouy’s
08. Black Ambulance
09. Two Talons
10. Missing People
Margaret Chavez Links
Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion